TORONTO—Nearly 60 percent of retired Canadians hold some form of debt, according to a poll commissioned by CIBC and conducted by Harris/Decima.
Retired Canadians hold less debt than those still working, however they are less likely to accelerate debt repayment and may carry debt for longer than anticipated in retirement, incurring higher interest costs and affecting cash flow.
Key poll findings:
- 59 per cent of retired Canadians currently hold some form of debt, compared to 76 per cent of all non-retired Canadians
- 27 per cent of retired Canadians have made an extra lump sum payment towards their debt in the past 12 months, compared to 42 per cent of non-retired Canadians
- On average, retired Canadians carry 1.65 debt products with a balance (including mortgages, lines of credit, loans and credit cards) compared to 2.64 products with a balance among non-retired Canadians
“While retired Canadians carry less debt than the national average, their debt could be stagnant and may end up costing them more in interest costs over a longer period of time,” said Christina Kramer, executive vice-president, Retail Distribution and Channel Strategy, CIBC.
CIBC says retired Canadians identified managing day-to-day expenses as their number one financial priority for this year.
“These poll results clearly illustrate the importance of having a good debt repayment strategy in all phases of life, particularly as you approach retirement” added Kramer. “While it’s a good sign to see that Canadians have made some progress on debt reduction entering retirement, it’s also clear that once you retire with debt, it can be harder to pay off your outstanding balances.”
Kramer’s debt management tips:
- Structure your debt to minimize overall interest costs—use products that offer a lower interest rate and have a strategy to pay these balances down in a specific time frame.
- Setting your debt payment even slightly higher than your required payment reduces overall interest costs and helps you become debt free faster